The Queensland and ACT government have pushed the federal Coalition government to “get its head out of the sand” on electric vehicles and put together a national policy to encourage its uptake.
Queensland transport minister Mark Bailey said he and the ACT put the case to the COAG transport ministers meeting on Friday. The Northern Territory and the W.A. governments were supportive, he said. The other states – federal and state Coalition governments (Victoria is in caretake mode) – “didn’t say much.”
“This is the future that we are seeing,” Bailey said on Saturday, standing at the Australian Electric Vehicle Association conference in front of a full electric Hyundai Ioniq, which is poised to be the first full electric vehicle priced under $50,000 and with good range to be sold in Australia when it goes on sale in the next month.
“Canberra has ignored this issue for far too long,” Bailey said. “We are losing out on economic opportunites, we are losing out on jobs, and we are losing out on action on climate change by ignoring electric vehicles.
“Behind me is a Hyundai Ioniq. It is the first affordable 100% electric vehicles. Australia is well behind in electric vehicle policy …. electric vehicles are taking over the world.”
Bailey pointed to the UK, another major right-hand drive car market, which has a share of EVs to total new car sales of around 1.6 per cent. It is just 0.2 per cent in Australia. “We have got a measly amount. We should be transitioning, we can see the future is electric.
You can also sign up to TheDriven’s regular, and free, newsletter here.